Posts tagged ‘Immigration’

11/04/2012

Undecided Voters: Foreign Policy Issues

The better choice on each issue is in the left column, indicated by a (D) for Democrat, (R) for Republican, or (N) for neither.

(D) TRADE WITH CHINA: Although Romney called China a currency manipulator and promised to prosecute them in the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the right to impose tariffs (10-11-11) (11-9-11) (11-12-11) (1-7-12) (1-19-12), since the Great Depression, both parties have worked together to eliminate tariffs, and in recent years, the Republicans have been the loudest advocate of free trade. It is highly unlikely Romney will seek or impose protective tariffs, or interfere with free trade.

(D) TRADE WITH CUBA: Although Romney said he would not open trade with Cuba, until Fidel Castro is dead (1-23-12) (1-26-12), there is actually no reason to treat Cuba any different than the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, or any other country we now trade with, who was once our enemy. Open the door now.

(D) EURO CRISIS: If the banks and economies around the world were collapsing, Romney said he would act to prevent contagion. (10-11-11). He also said Europe should take care of their own problems (11-9-11), and if Europe had a financial crisis, he wouldn’t give them a blank check, or save their banks (1-16-12). He was critical of the European for using IMF Funds (11-9-11). It appears, as usual, Romney wants to cover both sides of the issue.

(D) IMMIGRATION: Romney promised to crack down on immigration. (8-11-11). He said employers who hire illegal aliens are magnets. (9-7-11) (9-22-11). He would make businesses check the E-Verify data base. (10-18-11) (12-15-11) (1-19-12) (1-26-11). He thinks illegal aliens without jobs will self-deport (1-26-12). He said amnesty for illegal immigrants is another magnet that only encourages more. (12-10-11). He would not give aliens tuition assistance. (9-12-11) (9-22-11) (10-18-11). He would not give them Driver’s licenses. (9-12-11). He wants people with math and science degrees (11-22-11), and English language emersion for immigrants. (1-23-12) (1-26-12). He opposes special routes to citizenship (1-16-12). Although many Republicans favor what Romney has said, business owners in his own party wish to continue hiring illegal aliens, so they can keep paying cash under the table, to avoid payroll taxes and other legal obligations.

(D) MILITARY SERVICE: Romney, who received several deferments during the Vietnam War, found it extraordinary that only a few families were paying the price for freedom (1-7-12)

(D) IRAQ: Obama carried out his campaign pledge to end the misguided War in Iraq. Romney said he thought we had to go to war against Iraq. (1-16-12). Why is that even remotely true?

(D) BIN LADEN: President Obama was the Commander-in-Chief over the raid that eliminated Osama bin Laden. If a Republican had been President when the mission was accomplished, they would be carving his face into Mt. Rushmore. On the assumption Bin Laden was responsible for 911, it was a job well done, and Obama should be credited.

(D) ASSASSINATION: Romney said he thinks the President has a right to order the death of any “American citizens” suspected of terrorism (11-12-11) Sorry, Mitt, no such right.

(D) LIBYA: President Obama waged an almost flawless campaign to help the Libyan freedom fighters remove Gaddafi, their long-time dictator. He refused to put U.S. troops on the ground, but supplied aid to the rebels, and succeeded in bringing change to Libya. Republicans, who spend time on the recent incident in Bengazi, can’t see the forest for the trees.

(D) AFGHANISTAN: We should withdraw from Afghanistan as soon as possible, so our troops can come home, and we can save billions. Romney was vague about Afghanistan during the Republican debates. He said he would defer to generals and conditions on the ground. (6-13-11) (8-11-11) He thinks our commanders in the field don’t want to withdraw. He wouldn’t cut and run. He thinks Obama’s announcement of a withdrawal weakened us (1-16-12) He accused Obama of withdrawing early, but then he also said he would stay until 2014. (11-12-11) (11-22-11) He gave no reasons for wanting to stay until 2014. (1-7-12). He wouldn’t negotiate with the Taliban, since he said they’re terrorists. He incorrectly said they declared war on us. (1-16-12). Romney wants to win in Afghanistan by defeating the Taliban (1-23-12) He also said he wants a gradual transfer to Afghan Security Forces. Frankly, I think Romney wants to be President and will say just about anything, depending on who’s listening.

(D) LAWS OF WAR: Romney said the rights that apply to criminal law are different than those applicable in war (11-22-11)

(D) GUANTANAMO: As to the Guantanamo Prison, Romney thinks we have a right to deny al Qaeda due process. (1-16-12).

(D) PAKISTAN: Romney is concerned about the fact Pakistan has nuclear weapons (2-22-12) He believes they are a fragile nation close to a failed state. He wants to bring Pakistan into the 21st Century (11-22-11) He wants them to let us go after the Taliban and Haqqani Network inside Pakistan (11-12-11). We need to stay out of Pakistan, Mitt. You’re playing with fire there.

(D) SYRIA: Romney said Syria is a threat to Israel (1-26-12), and an ally of Iran. He would use covert means to end Assad’s dictatorship (11-12-11) He would not however impose a no-fly zone over Syria. He would use sanctions and covert means (11-22-11) I say let’s stay out of their war altogether.

(D) ISRAEL: Although Republicans accuse Obama of sticking a thumb in Israel’s eye (8-11-11), the American problem is not too little support for Israel, it’s too much. Our bipartisan American foreign-policy has been controlled by Israeli special interests for a long time. Romney is frightening, because he sounds like a weak leader, who would allow outsiders to control our foreign policy. Romney said it was wrong for Obama to criticize Israel for illegally constructing settlements in occupied Palestine (9-22-11) Weak Republicans like Romney would abandon our long-standing objection to Israel’s illegal taking of the Palestinian territories in 1967. (8-11-11) Since Obama courageously followed international law, we need him to keep Israel from taking the U.S. even deeper into their conflict. Romney pandered to the Jewish community while in Florida (1-26-12), and it’s not surprising his first foreign policy trip would be to Israel (11-22-11) We need a leader much stronger than Romney, one who would stand up to Israel.

(D) IRAN: Romney has a desire to impose crippling sanctions against Iran to keep them from developing nuclear weapons, which he called unacceptable (9-22-11) He falsely accused Obama of not putting crippling sanctions against Iran (1-7-12) He supports Iranian dissidents. He favors regime change and would take military action to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons (11-12-11) He called Obama weak on Iran (12-15-11) Romney said if Iran shut down the Straits of Hormuz, it would be an act of war (1-23-12). He thinks they will sneak dirty bombs into the U.S. through Latin America (2-22-12) Romney would indict Ahmadinejad for violating the Genocide Convention (11-22-11)

(D) LATIN AMERICA: Romney actually thinks the Hezbollah is working in Latin America (11-22-11) (2-22-12) Get real Mitt.

(D) RUSSIA: In one debate, Romney sounded like he didn’t know the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. He was still talking as though Russia was an enemy, as he accused Obama of giving them what they wanted. (11-12-11). Romney worries me.

(D) FOREIGN AID: Romney thinks the U.S. spends more on foreign aid than we should (10-18-11). We are still the richest nation on earth, and if we want allies, we need to give some aid.

(D) HOMELAND SECURITY: Romney would let people who are a “lower risk” go through TSA screening quickly. (11-22-11). Sounds like he wants to set up a fast track for his friends like Donald Trump, while the rest of us wait in line.

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04/24/2012

Court Justices Necessarily Make Law

When the Supreme Court issues decisions this summer on the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” under the Health Care Act, and the legality of the Arizona immigration statute, no matter which way they rule, they will be engaging in judicial activism, and they will be making law, and criticism will follow from the right, the left, or perhaps from both directions.

The Court has a challenging job for they do not review obvious legal questions. If the issue is: What is the minimum age to be President? The outcome would be easy, as the Constitution clearly states “Thirty-five.” But the Court never reviews simple questions like that; they instead take cases involving important issues, where there has been a substantial disagreement among the various appellate courts.

While the winners of these cases usually say the law was correctly applied, the losers accuse the Supreme Court of: 1) engaging in judicial activism; 2) ignoring the “original intent” of the Framers; 3) improperly making law; and 4) of not behaving like neutral and objective justices. The Republicans have used these types of arguments for more than 40 years, even though they have had more justices on the Supreme Court than Democrats since 1972.

When conservatives complain of “liberal activism,” they ignore the multitude of cases involving “conservative activism.” All decisions on legal issues require justices to take a stand, by either moving to the left, or to the right. Inaction is not an option. Even refusing to review a case, which amounts to an affirmation of a lower court ruling, can be viewed as liberal or conservative activism. People complaining about liberal activism, or conservative activism, ignore the reality the Supreme Court necessarily moves in one direction or the other.

Conservatives also complain about not following the “original intent” of the Constitution, as if there is only one way to interpret the document. Their Presidential candidates pledge to nominate only those who believe in the “original intent,” as if it could be known, or found easily in some textbook. The truth is there is no singular book to turn to for the answer, because language is imprecise, and the purpose, meaning, and intent of the Constitution is often vague and ambiguous. Law is not an exact science. This is why a judiciary was created, so we had a body whose job it was to construe and interpret the Constitution. No one can now check with the Founders, and even if they could, Jefferson and Adams, among others, had disagreements between themselves, over 200 years ago already, about the intent of the Constitution. Somebody today has to fill the void left by the Founders, and this is why we have a Supreme Court. They are “the deciders.” While everyone would love to know the “original intent,” the truth is it is subject to debate, and justices must apply their best guesses.

As to the allegation the Court engages in law-making, they are correct, but there is no alternative. A judicial decision necessarily becomes a part of our larger body of law. It has always been that way. When the Court turns areas of gray into black and white, they engage in a limited form of law-making. All judges, whether liberal or conservative, necessarily make law.

The final myth is Supreme Court justices should be, or can be, purely neutral and objective. The truth is justices are human beings whose subconscious subjective personal viewpoints necessarily cloud their judgments. The notion of a purely neutral and impartial objective judiciary is nothing more than a childish myth. Judges are human beings who cannot be perfectly impartial in the pure sense of the word.

We need to acknowledge all U.S. Supreme Court justices are partisans. All of them knew a Republican or Democratic Senator, who sponsored their nomination, and none of them got to the Court by accident, or based solely on merit. When the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the 2000 Presidential election recount in Florida, the outcome was relatively easy to predict, based on the politics of the justices. The Court had seven Republican-appointees, and only two Democratic nominees, and when the decision favored George W. Bush, it was really no surprise, since the justices were unable to set aside their personal political biases.

This summer we may expect an activist court to again make law, which will move the nation to the left, or to the right, since the justices are necessarily biased, and just as political as the rest of us.